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Zenaida Yanowsky

Principal of The Royal Ballet

Biography

Zenaida Yanowsky in action.
Zenaida Yanowsky as The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring © ROH / Bill Cooper, 2013

Zenaida Yanowsky is a Principal of The Royal Ballet. She joined the Company as a First Artist in 1994 and was promoted to Soloist in 1996, First Soloist in 1999 and Principal in 2001. Her many roles include Odette/Odile (Swan Lake), Marguerite, Manon, Natalia Petrovna (A Month in the Country) and Principal roles in 'Rubies' (Jewels), The Four Temperaments, Apollo and In the Night. She has created roles for choreographers including Kim Brandstrup, Will Tuckett, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon, creating for Wheeldon the Queen of Hearts (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) and Paulina (The Winter's Tale).

Yanowsky was born in Lyon, France. Both of her parents were dancers with Lyon Opera Ballet, and as a child she often accompanied them on tour. The family settled in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, and she trained at the dance school established by her parents. After winning a silver medal at Varna in 1991, she joined Paris Opera Ballet. Further awards included gold medals at the 1993 European Young Dancers Competition and the 1994 Jackson International Ballet Competition.

Yanowsky has danced in two short dance films, Duet and The Sandman, for Channel 4, and in the BBC's Riot at the Rite. She has collaborated with Claire Barclays and Will Tuckett on an installation in the Whitechapel Gallery, and danced in a short film choreographed by Tuckett for the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition at Tate Modern. Two of Yanowsky's siblings are also dancers: her older brother Yury is a principal with Boston Ballet and younger sister Nadia a soloist with Dutch National Ballet.

Videos

News and features

Listen: Zenaida Yanowsky reflects on her career to date – 'I am an illusionist'

Listen: Zenaida Yanowsky reflects on her career to date – 'I am an illusionist'

19 March 2015

The award-winning ballerina reveals how she moved from contemporary dance to ballet, and the challenge of balancing dance with being a mother.

Cast Changes: Swan Lake on 19 and 21 February 2015

Cast Changes: Swan Lake on 19 and 21 February 2015

17 February 2015

Cast changes in effect for roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried.

Cast Change: Natalia Osipova to dance in Swan Lake on 13 February 2015

Cast Change: Natalia Osipova to dance in Swan Lake on 13 February 2015

6 February 2015

Natalia Osipova to replace Zenaida Yanowsky in the role of Odette/Odile.

Photos

Eric Underwood and Zenaida Yanowsky in DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse, The Royal Ballet

Zenaida Yanowsky backstage during The Turn of the Screw, The Royal Ballet

Irek Mukhamedov and Zenaida Yanowsky in The Turn of the Screw, The Royal Ballet

Zenaida Yanowsky as Manon in Kenneth Macmillan's Manon, The Royal Ballet,

Zenaida Yanowsky as Manon and Gary Avis as the Gaoler in Kenneth Macmillan's Manon, The Royal Ballet,

Christopher Wheeldon and Zenaida Yanowsky in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale

Zenaida Yanowsky in Edwaard Liang's Sight Unseen

Zenaida Yanowsky and Federico Bonelli in Apollo

Thiago Soares and Zenaida Yanowsky in Las Hermanas.

Thiago Soares and Zenaida Yanowsky in Las Hermanas

Nehemiah Kish and Zenaida Yanowsky in Swan Lake

Zenaida Yanowsky

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Federico Bonelli as Armand in Marguerite and Armand

Zenaida Yanowsky as The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring

Zenaida Yanowsky as The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring

Zenaida Yanowsky in rehearsals for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Laura Morera, Monica Mason and Zenaida Yanowsky in The Turn of the Screw, The Royal Ballet

Zenaida Yanowsky and Nehemiah Kish in In the Night, The Royal Ballet

Zenaida Yanowsky as Paulina in The Winter's Tale, The Royal Ballet,

Zenaida Yanowsky in The Four Temperaments

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Marguerite and Armand

Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Rupert Pennefather as Beliaev in A Month in the Country

Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Rupert Pennefather as Beliaev in A Month in the Country

Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Gary Avis as Rakitin in A Month in the Country

Genesia Rosato, Zenaida Yanowsky and Alastair Marriott in Les Noces

Thiago Soares and Zenaida Yanowsky rehearsing Las Hermanas

Zenaida Yanowsky and Carlos Acosta in Edwaard Liang's Sight Unseen

Zenaida Yanowsky and Rupert Pennefather in A Month in the Country

Vadim Muntagirov in 'Melancholic', The Four Temperaments, The Royal Ballet

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Federico Bonelli as Armand in Marguerite and Armand

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Marguerite and Armand

Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Rupert Pennefather as Beliaev in A Month in the Country

Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Rupert Pennefather as Beliaev in A Month in the Country

Zenaida Yanowsky, Will Tuckett and Nehemiah Kish in The Royal Ballet's Swan Lake

Zenaida Yanowsky as The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring

Zenaida Yanowsky as The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring